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  1. #1
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    MBA's review of 26 vs 27.5 vs 29ers

    Totally sh1ting on the 29er now! Now its the up and coming 27.5 thats the king of the mountain, with 26 in second and our beloved 29ers falling short in every category (climbing, corning, and descending)! Funny how the marketing "new" products thing works!
    Last edited by dogo; 05-26-2012 at 11:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    i'm interested to give this b wheel thing a try. i'm 6'3" so i feel like proportionately a 29er bike would feel the same to me as a B or 26er to someone else but i do notice a bit of sluggish cornering with the 29ers i've ridden.

    could be a "happy medium" type dealy

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    I understand completely wanted to try something new, shoot thats the reason why i bought my 29er. I also understand not every wheel size is going to fit everyone, hence the 29er being better suited for larger folk, but cmon the way they pooped on 29ers in the review was hard to swallow..

  4. #4
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    When did Mountain Bike Fiction become relevant?

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    Great thread...I'm excited to see where it goes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    When did Mountain Bike Fiction become relevant?
    I agree, it's just the total marlarkey of pushing a new product thats bothersome.. I know when 29ers first hit the scene there was a market push, but 3inchs is a lot out on the trail.. Is +/- 1.5 really going to be that ground braking?? Please correct me if I'm wrong..
    Last edited by dogo; 05-26-2012 at 04:05 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogo View Post
    I agree, it's just the total marlarkey of pushing a new product thats bothersome.. I know when 29ers first hit the scene there was a market push, but 3inchs is a lot of the trail.. Is +/- 1.5 really going to be that ground braking?? Please correct me if I'm wrong..
    Not even a new product.
    650B has been round for ages.
    Seriously I REALLY dont get it.
    All these people suddenly "discovering" 650B??
    The concept has been around for about the same amount of time as 29ers and has basically been ignored.
    In all that time they still have bugger all tyre and rim choice, not to mention fork choice.
    I dont get why it is suddenly "awesome".

    It is plain and simple hype. Just like the hype around 26ers, 29ers, 650B, through axles, tapered steerers etc etc etc being better.

    As I said elsewhere you can hype it anyway you like.
    You could say that it has all of the benefits of each and none of the downside.
    OR as I prefer to think of it,
    you could say they have all of the downsides of each and none of the upside.

    I also think that there are some bike companies who simply dont want to do the R&D on the 29er platform and see the ability to possibly squeeze in some 650B wheels into their existing frames as the next best option.

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    I think I just need to own at least one of each and come to my own conclusion. :-)

  9. #9
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    it was only a couple issues ago they were calling for the death of the 26er hardtail and praising 29er trail bikes. still a fun read though, just don't take it seriously
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  10. #10
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    No no no, they have it all wrong. . . Twenty EIGHT in front, 26.7225 in the back, that's the optimal. it's called a sixty seventy eighty'r

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by charmon2 View Post
    I think I just need to own at least one of each and come to my own conclusion. :-)
    Exactly how they want you to think! I agree with TR completely. All it is, is a big push to sell bikes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferday View Post
    it was only a couple issues ago they were calling for the death of the 26er hardtail and praising 29er trail bikes. still a fun read though, just don't take it seriously
    So I should read it like I read the huffington post!?

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    Remember when they said "stick a fork in them there done" about 29ers??

    Really,this magazine is getting to be the biggest pile of crap there is.

    last year they stested a speci camber and twice in the article they explained how they ran less psi in the neg chamber on the rockshox fork on the bike to get a better ride.

    To bad the bike clearly had a recon tk single air fork on it.

  14. #14
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    MBA? Did they say it is between how a 26 and a 29 feels? I feel confident that some of their writers do not ride bikes.

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    Having owned several 29er's "not for me" still find 26er's best for my needs, and ridden a few 650b,I'm totally sold on them,gain everything lose nothing! with the industry gearing up for them it should be interesting to see how it will stack up overall in comparison to most bikers needs!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogo View Post
    Exactly how they want you to think! I agree with TR completely. All it is, is a big push to sell bikes!
    Indeed. And I do fall for it from time to time but it definitely doesn't take a magazine article to make me want to try something different. Just knowing that there is something different is enough. I don't buy stuff just because some stranger with different opinions, riding a trail that I will probably never set a tire on, says something is better than another. But for me, part of the fun of this sport is the hardware. In over two decades of riding I've seen a lot of new technologies come and go. I enjoy reading about it and most of all trying it because that means I am on the trails. 26", 27.5", 29"...I just like riding bikes. I've even been caught trying to ride my kid's 12" bike just to see if I can, doesn't matter to me!

  17. #17
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    I want to try a "Killer B"...it may be great...we won't know until we try it. Love my 29er...but again, you don't know what you are missing until you try it. I think having the different sizes is great; it has re-invigorated the MTB industry and makes things exciting again. Also realize that the shoot-out was on FS...this has always been the bain of 29er-dom..and maybe 650b really is the better way to go for longer travel FS.

    On another note, they really did crap all over 29ers like they are hogs that you can't handle. Give me a break.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogo View Post
    I agree, it's just the total marlarkey of pushing a new product thats bothersome.. I know when 29ers first hit the scene there was a market push, but 3inchs is a lot out on the trail.. Is +/- 1.5 really going to be that ground braking?? Please correct me if I'm wrong..
    +1.

    The only reason I see for the smaller wheels would be for f/s. The more suspension the smaller the wheels unless you want to end up on a really "big" bike. That said, I've never tried a 29er f/s and many people seem really satisfied.

    Do we need 3 sizes? Or I suppose 4 with 36ers?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post

    On another note, they really did crap all over 29ers like they are hogs that you can't handle. Give me a break.

    Hey I'm up for trying new things myself, but to sh1t on one to push another, when they've praised 29ers numerous times before is B.S..

  20. #20
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    Simply doesn't make any sense.

    The theory is that the bigger wheels smooth out the trail and add climbing traction and stability and now want to hype up a smaller wheel.Are we really that naive?

    I am done with 26 but not jumping on a 27.5 anytime soon.

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    Was it just me or was anyone else annoyed with the lack of disclaimers about the extremely limited scope of the 'test'. The conclusion they came to seems no more profound than that among the KHS full-suspension rigs they were testing, those testers liked the 650B the best compared to the KHS 26er and the KHS 29er, on the trails they were riding them on. I think the unfortunate part is that some readers will take their conclusions as definitive about wheel size.

    I will stipulate that the article peaked my interest in 650B enough to at least try one. My guess is that the wheels will feel small...

  22. #22
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    It's okay to sell lots and lots of bikes.

  23. #23
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    Having let my MBA subscription lapse years ago, I'm no fan. But I've been waiting/hoping for a nice crop of 650b FS bikes to become available. I've owned 26 HT, 26FS, 29HT, 29 soft-tail, and 29 FS, and currently think 650b would make the best FS for me and my trails.
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  24. #24
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    If 27.5 and 26 are the top two ... hmm ... Makes you wonder how good a 26.75 wheel would be. Best of both worlds, you know. I hope someone gets on that quick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    I want to try a "Killer B"...it may be great...we won't know until we try it. Love my 29er...but again, you don't know what you are missing until you try it. I think having the different sizes is great; it has re-invigorated the MTB industry and makes things exciting again. Also realize that the shoot-out was on FS...this has always been the bain of 29er-dom..and maybe 650b really is the better way to go for longer travel FS.

    On another note, they really did crap all over 29ers like they are hogs that you can't handle. Give me a break.
    I would defiantely love to try a 650 FS bike,hell if I could squeeze a 650 ont he front of my Top Fuel I'd do it. 650 FS is where I think this wheel size could shine. But I'm not selling my 29er anytime soon. Definately cool to have different wheels sizes, just like the camber vs rocker debate in snowboarding....then the combo rocker boards came along
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  26. #26
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    I guess after this, the next push will be 650b in the rear, 29 in the front! Everything else will be obsolete!

  27. #27
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    nice read for sure but ill keep my 29er :-)
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdc View Post
    If 27.5 and 26 are the top two ... hmm ... Makes you wonder how good a 26.75 wheel would be. Best of both worlds, you know. I hope someone gets on that quick.
    Thanks for making me laugh Then it will be between 26 and 26.75. I am gonna get on it and make a 26.38er. Everyone will love it cause it will be between...right..

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogo View Post
    I agree, it's just the total marlarkey of pushing a new product thats bothersome.. I know when 29ers first hit the scene there was a market push, but 3inchs is a lot out on the trail.. Is +/- 1.5 really going to be that ground braking?? Please correct me if I'm wrong..
    As far as I know 29ers are not nearly as new as some people think it is, this is actually called 28 in europe and has been the most common size by far for like 50 years, with most tires being in the 35-50mm range or so.
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    I'll just stick to my 29er.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogo View Post
    3inchs is a lot out on the trail..
    That's what she said...
    Mind your own religion.

  32. #32
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    The 650B bike sounds awesome. They have been around a long time but with compromises. It sounds like forks are being made for 650B from the big boys not White Brother's junk. I find the 29er fun but a bit big in many riding conditions and the 26" small in many riding conditions.

  33. #33
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    I read that article a month or so ago... if my memory serves, the 29er came in second overall, not 3rd?

    In any case, it's a tempest in a teapot, IMO. Who cares? 650b may eventually gain traction, but now is not the right time - the market JUST made the swing to 29ers, with hold-out skeptics like Yeti and Specialized finally giving in to market demands. No one really WANTS another change right now.

    Plus, I am skeptical that 650b offers ENOUGH of a difference to entice the average rider to switch - again. That's the lure of the 29er - it was the biggest change since the inception of the sport, and the move from 26 to 29er was big enough that even average/rec riders could tell a difference. I am not certain that is true with 650b - its only a ~5% difference over 26.

    So, in summary, 650b is late to market, has few adopters, and it doesn't offer enough of an advantage over either 26 or 29 to entice riders to make a switch.

    PS/Edit: In my experience, more attention must be given to selecting quality wheelsets and tires when riding 29ers. The added size obviously means added weight, so simply scaling up a 26er wheel and tire set to 29 doesn't always work - the same tire and wheelset that feels fine in 26 can feel sluggish and heavy in 29.

    The more attention (and $$) you spend on the 29er wheels and tires goes a long way to closing the perceived "nimbleness" gap.
    Mind your own religion.

  34. #34
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    Really,there is no"superiority" of one over another in wheel size,it really is all about what riding discipline you mostly ride and enjoy,terrain etc.a skilled and multi disciplined rider can truly ride any wheel size with great results,but having a wheel size that is more apropo for terrain and style just makes the ride that more blissfull!

  35. #35
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    The more sizes available for the consumer to choose from, the better. But this debate is a dead hoarse that just keeps getting beat......unmercifully!

    I wish that the mags would stop wasting my subscription $ on the ink it takes to print these "side by side by side" articles. OLD NEWS!

    On an unrelated, but equally old and pointless note.
    Who's hotter, Lonnie Anderson, Christie Brinkley or Cheryl Tiegs?
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoisonDartFrog View Post
    I read that article a month or so ago... if my memory serves, the 29er came in second overall, not 3rd?

    No its July's issue, and came in third.. I bought the subscription only because its 8.99 a year on the Ipad. Not bad for when I'm taking a dump and need something to read.....

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogo View Post
    I guess after this, the next push will be 650b in the rear, 29 in the front! Everything else will be obsolete!
    This is what I want.

  38. #38
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    Mountain Bike Enquirer is the "Ooohhh - bright colors!" publication of our sport. The writing is bad, the opinion changes monthly, and they rarely give a really conclusive review of a product, destination, or 'riding tips'. (but some of the faces the riders in action shots make are pretty amusing...) I wouldn't pay too much attention to what they say - ride a 650b yourself if you are interested. If a company does a good job designing a bike around that wheel size, and it is equipped with good components, there's a fairly good chance that it will be a nice riding bike - probably at least as good as the 26" model. It might be better in some places than a 29", and worse in others. While I love my 29" bikes, I can see how some people prefer 26" and really, does it have to be a competition about everything? Ride what you like and have a good time.
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  39. #39
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    650b. Right. Obviously. Really?
    Amazing how dumb people are when it comes to marketing.
    The first casualty of a war is the truth. That has been so from the ages of Sun Tsu and before. See marketing as a type of media war.

  40. #40
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    I'm not standing up for Mtba but anyone who hasn't ridden 650 for more than one test ride (or not at all) really shouldn't make any comments at all on stuff like this.

    If you ride the same model tire, the same width, 26 vs 650, the 650 performs slightly better. Slightly because it is slightly bigger. But it's not imaginary. If it's rough and rocky a 2.5 26er with big knobs will out perform a 2.35 650 and in that size comparison the diameter is almost the same. But you sacrifice a bit of rolling resistance and some extra weight, so if you like smooth swoopy trails 650 would be your tire. But then I don't think a light weight 29er setup wouldn't slow you down either.

    I don't have a lot of time on 29ers yet (I have one in the works) so I can't offer a fully tested conclusion, however so far my seat time on 29ers has been positive and my personal vote for one bike for all conditions would be a long travel 29er. But I have quite a few bikes and like switching back and forth between them to get a different riding experience and test out new ideas.

    As far as 650 vs 26? I'd take 650 if we had more choices, which hopefully we will in the future.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    I'm not standing up for Mtba but anyone who hasn't ridden 650 for more than one test ride (or not at all) really shouldn't make any comments at all on stuff like this.
    I don't agree, and this happens with everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    I don't have a lot of time on 29ers yet (I have one in the works) so I can't offer a fully tested conclusion, however so far my seat time on 29ers has been positive and my personal vote for one bike for all conditions would be a long travel 29er.
    So you can see how riding 29ers gives you an idea of the value of 650b and invalidates your comment above.

    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    As far as 650 vs 26? I'd take 650 if we had more choices, which hopefully we will in the future.
    But that isn't the choice, it's only one of the choices and it's artificial. 650b was done because it was cheap and easy. It allows some of the big wheel benefit of 29ers while working with much of the 26er frame selection. It's the poor man's choice. Saying 650b would be your choice is like saying you'd take Wendy's over McDonalds when you are looking for fine dining. I'd take it too but I'd prefer something else.

  42. #42
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    IIRC the other comparo they did was "sponsored" by Jamis, who sponsored this one?

    MBA at least has good pictures. Still not a monthly staple at mi casa though.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogo View Post
    No its July's issue, and came in third.. I bought the subscription only because its 8.99 a year on the Ipad. Not bad for when I'm taking a dump and need something to read.....

    Here are the results copy and pasted right from MBA....

    Win: This 27.5-inch-wheeled bike proved to be the most versatile of the three hardtails. It did an excellent job of blending the best traits of the 29er and 26er with- out ever feeling like a compromise between the two. This bike scampered away from the 29er on steep uphills or after a speed-zapping mistake. It then gapped the 26er on the other side of the mountain on the way down—all the while delivering a very resilient ride that didn’t beat up the rider.

    Place: This 29er couldn’t match the 27.5 in a drag race from a standstill or up a steep ascent. If your riding is wide-open trails with few surprises, the large wheels will hold an advantage over the 27.5. Our 29er held a slight advantage on the descents over the 27.5 (and blew the 26er into the weeds), but the advantage was less than what the 27.5 could throw down going up.

    Show: This 26er felt the lightest of the group (it was), and, in experienced hands, it would beat the other two in acceleration and slicing up or down a trail. It propelled its rider with pumpatude power and liked to manual, wheelie and hop around obstacles. The operative word here is “experienced.” An accomplished rider can pump and manual all day long. The rider who can’t do those things won’t have as much fun on this 26er as he would on either of the other bikes.

    Either way...I would say whatever works for the individual rider is the best wheel choice.....It's pretty much as simple as that..

  44. #44
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    MBA did a 26 vs 29 test in jan with cannondale and they picked the 29 as the clear winner then . Maybe they are looking for more sales.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR View Post
    Not even a new product.
    650B has been round for ages.
    Seriously I REALLY dont get it.
    All these people suddenly "discovering" 650B??
    The concept has been around for about the same amount of time as 29ers and has basically been ignored.
    In all that time they still have bugger all tyre and rim choice, not to mention fork choice.
    I dont get why it is suddenly "awesome".

    It is plain and simple hype. Just like the hype around 26ers, 29ers, 650B, through axles, tapered steerers etc etc etc being better.
    Is that how the likes of Gary Fisher. Wes Williams, et al. "discovered" 29er wheels?
    Funny how they are the same size rim as my road bike. :roll eyes:

    It is clear that you never have ridden a 650b bike, and thus, have zero credibility. A fact re-enforced by you dismissing through axles being an improvement.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigsj View Post
    I don't agree, and this happens with everything.


    So you can see how riding 29ers gives you an idea of the value of 650b and invalidates your comment above.


    But that isn't the choice, it's only one of the choices and it's artificial. 650b was done because it was cheap and easy. It allows some of the big wheel benefit of 29ers while working with much of the 26er frame selection. It's the poor man's choice. Saying 650b would be your choice is like saying you'd take Wendy's over McDonalds when you are looking for fine dining. I'd take it too but I'd prefer something else.
    [I don't feel like copying and pasting all my comments so just go up a couple of posts to get up to speed.]

    First off I say you have to ride it to comment because I was of the opinion that 650 made no sense since it was only a little bit bigger and when I built a 650 wheel a couple of years ago and replaced a 2.5 26" front tire on a SS with it I didn't see much of an advantage either. But then this winter I spent 3 months on one bike at one trail system and about 1 month in I built up a 650 front wheel for that bike using Navegal 2.35 tires on both wheels and saw a notable improvement across the board in all conditions. So I personally saw the errors of my ways in judging before I fully tested and in a more applicable way using same tires and same width.

    Lastly what are you saying and are you channeling David Copperfield , that 29er is the only "real" choice? He calls 650 "kiddy wheels" rather than "cheap and easy", I think because he experienced the size when he was a kid. I'm not sure what is any "cheaper" or "easier" about 650 either except up to a certain size some 26er frames and forks work to a degree.

    I'm building a 29er DH frame and while the 2.5 Dessents look good and will probably be great on rough DH sections I think the wheels will be too heavy for AM riding, where a 26 2.5 Dessent Race is doable and offers amazing grip, shock absorption and traction both dry and wet. I have the tires and have built the wheels and they are heavy, but I haven't ridden them yet. Other 29er tires on the market are pretty wimpy. Also my FS fat bike that I built with 4" tires works better than anything else in most conditions unless you need to turn really fast like in a DH race and need to carve, or climb a long steep hill fast because the bike is 38lbs.

    So in conclusion my testing has shown that larger diameter and a fatter carcase are good, and big knobs are good, but too much of a good thing can be bad as is too heavy.

    So what I'm thinking is an in between tire might be the best overall and have started the ball rolling on trying to get some 650B 3.25 tires built, if I can get them in at around the 1200g mark and close to 29" in diameter. I think we (all mountain riders) could benefit from a 650 2.6 and 2.8 size too. Ultimately all in double casing steel bead and single high TPI casing folding bead versions.

    I don't know what you ride or what you build or where you live so it's hard to tell where you are coming from. If you prototype and build new things that work better I'll listen harder. If you are speaking purely theoretically then go test some stuff for a few years and report back.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    First off I say you have to ride it to comment because I was of the opinion that 650 made no sense since it was only a little bit bigger and when I built a 650 wheel a couple of years ago and replaced a 2.5 26" front tire on a SS with it I didn't see much of an advantage either. But then this winter I spent 3 months on one bike at one trail system and about 1 month in I built up a 650 front wheel for that bike using Navegal 2.35 tires on both wheels and saw a notable improvement across the board in all conditions. So I personally saw the errors of my ways in judging before I fully tested and in a more applicable way using same tires and same width.
    Yes, but two things. First, you are changing multiple things and then attributing a difference to the wheel diameter. You are free to judge the bike, but you can't just attribute the differences to 25mm of extra wheel size. It's what makes wheel size arguments silly.

    Second, you can have a good idea what to expect for a component based on experience with other components. We do it all the time. Frankly, it's a better reason to comment than many have.

    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    Lastly what are you saying and are you channeling David Copperfield , that 29er is the only "real" choice?
    I am deeply offended. Take that back.

    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    He calls 650 "kiddy wheels" rather than "cheap and easy", I think because he experienced the size when he was a kid. I'm not sure what is any cheaper or easier about 650 either except up to a certain size some 26er frames and forks work to a degree.
    I'm not calling 650b products cheap and easy, I'm calling the process of getting 650b adopted cheap and easy. When the industry was only 26er, 29ers required all new frames and forks besides the wheels. 650b didn't. That's really the core backstory of 650b, and now the apparent surge of 650b interest seems founded in a fear of manufacturers missing the boat (again). It seems clear that there will be a big upturn in 650b parts soon, but that doesn't lead me to believe that 650b is desirable or will be successful. The market isn't always a meritocracy either.

    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    I don't know what you ride or what you build or where you live so it's hard to tell where you are coming from. If you prototype and build new things that work better I'll listen harder. If you are speaking purely theoretically then go test some stuff for a few years and report back.
    Nor do I know yours or anyone else's. You can choose to listen or not and we all do, but you can consider everyone's comments on their merit alone. I rarely post my actual riding experiences because I prefer not to offer subjective comments most of the time. For objective issues my personal ride doesn't matter.

    I will say that I dislike both fat tires and Nevegals, and have ridden both, but that you like them doesn't make me disrepect your opinions. Believe it or not, I do have experience with 650b, I just don't like having to present my credentials. At risk of going severely off-topic, I recently took delivery of a full custom FS bike for which I designed the rear suspension myself. I won't be discussing it on MTBR because it is too far off what people do here, but just because I don't discuss my experimentation doesn't mean I don't do any.

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    I thought there was a recent ban on these ridiculous "29er vs. X" threads... guess it expired.

    MBA is a joke and has been for a long time.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigsj View Post
    Yes, but two things. First, you are changing multiple things and then attributing a difference to the wheel diameter. You are free to judge the bike, but you can't just attribute the differences to 25mm of extra wheel size. It's what makes wheel size arguments silly.

    Second, you can have a good idea what to expect for a component based on experience with other components. We do it all the time. Frankly, it's a better reason to comment than many have.


    I am deeply offended. Take that back.


    I'm not calling 650b products cheap and easy, I'm calling the process of getting 650b adopted cheap and easy. When the industry was only 26er, 29ers required all new frames and forks besides the wheels. 650b didn't. That's really the core backstory of 650b, and now the apparent surge of 650b interest seems founded in a fear of manufacturers missing the boat (again). It seems clear that there will be a big upturn in 650b parts soon, but that doesn't lead me to believe that 650b is desirable or will be successful. The market isn't always a meritocracy either.


    Nor do I know yours or anyone else's. You can choose to listen or not and we all do, but you can consider everyone's comments on their merit alone. I rarely post my actual riding experiences because I prefer not to offer subjective comments most of the time. For objective issues my personal ride doesn't matter.

    I will say that I dislike both fat tires and Nevegals, and have ridden both, but that you like them doesn't make me disrepect your opinions. Believe it or not, I do have experience with 650b, I just don't like having to present my credentials. At risk of going severely off-topic, I recently took delivery of a full custom FS bike for which I designed the rear suspension myself. I won't be discussing it on MTBR because it is too far off what people do here, but just because I don't discuss my experimentation doesn't mean I don't do any.
    Noted on all comments.

    The only thing that changed when I installed a 650 on the last bike (front only) was a slight change in geometry due to the larger diameter but I don't think the extra cornering traction or roll over ability could solely be attributed to geometry.

    I'm not saying 650 is "the answer". I am saying that it should be developed along with further advancements of wagon wheels and not abandoned and purely a marketing ploy.

    I've had several long conversations with Kirk Pancenti and he does not strike me as someone who would do something simply for monetary gain. Besides monetary gain for someone like him or me is going to be pretty minimal anyhow. It's only the big boys who ride on the coat tails of the little guys with things like this who make the bucks. Look at Keith Bontrager. He was ready to throw in the towel and get a non bike day job before Trek pulled him in. Not that he made huge leaps in technology but he's not a dumb guy by any means from reports from people who know him.

    Good to hear that you experiment Maybe we can talk off forum about suspension since I have a rear suspension design I've been wanting to build as well. It's somewhat out there so....

    And btw, suspension is the key to fat tires working in rough terrain. Otherwise you have an undampened spring to contend with.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    I've had several long conversations with Kirk Pancenti and he does not strike me as someone who would do something simply for monetary gain. Besides monetary gain for someone like him or me is going to be pretty minimal anyhow.
    I bet when KP was sewing together that first 650b tire he was thinking "boy I'm going to be rich!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    I'm not saying 650 is "the answer". I am saying that it should be developed along with further advancements of wagon wheels and not abandoned and purely a marketing ploy.
    From a rider's perspective, more choice is better. I've always felt that way. I would love a market where there was a range of wheel sizes with complete ranges of tires, road and MTB included. If that included 650b I think it would be great. Hard to express that here, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    Good to hear that you experiment Maybe we can talk off forum about suspension since I have a rear suspension design I've been wanting to build as well. It's somewhat out there so....

    And btw, suspension is the key to fat tires working in rough terrain. Otherwise you have an undampened spring to contend with.
    Unconventional designs are what helps you learn and I'm a big fan of it. Don't know about fat tires and rear suspension but I suspect I agree.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    I thought there was a recent ban on these ridiculous "29er vs. X" threads... guess it expired
    We were tricked into it! It came in under the disguise of a thread about a magazine article!
    Mind your own religion.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    Simply doesn't make any sense.

    The theory is that the bigger wheels smooth out the trail and add climbing traction and stability and now want to hype up a smaller wheel.Are we really that naive?

    I am done with 26 but not jumping on a 27.5 anytime soon.
    The definition of zealot - an immoderate, fanatical, or extremely zealous adherent to a cause, esp a religious one and a 29er fanboy. " Simply doesn't make any sense." Many MTB riders don't want to smooth out the trail,or lose any aspect of the terrain. That's why we ride "Mountain bikes". I've seen guys with skill climb some impossible shite on a 26er. It is increasingly evident that a 29er is a way not to develop those skills.

    This is a direct cause of the soring popularity of enduro type riding where three primary disciplines are rolled together and that extra 1.5 means something. Mountain biking is becoming more about the epic adventure vs the how fast you ride the trail loop.

    Yes it is marketing, but it is also the search for the wheel size that can be applied to ALL disciplines affectively. Which 29ers do not and can not. How hard is that for the 29er riders to realize? 29er fanboy are the only ones wining, no one else cares. Ride a 29er and be happy. The wheel size isn't going anywhere, it just will never be the preferred size for the majority.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    Is that how the likes of Gary Fisher. Wes Williams, et al. "discovered" 29er wheels?
    Funny how they are the same size rim as my road bike. :roll eyes:

    It is clear that you never have ridden a 650b bike, and thus, have zero credibility. A fact re-enforced by you dismissing through axles being an improvement.
    You have completely missed the point of my post.
    I made no mention of anyone discovering 29ers.
    My point was that 650B was "discovered" long ago and was ignored until just this year when some marketing guru from a bike company decided to start hyping it.
    The 650B forum on this very website has been here since 2004 so 650B was "discovered" sometime before then.
    And I stand by my comment about through axles.
    I have ridden them back to back with 9mm QR and 15mm through and can tell no difference for what I do. Same goes for tapered head tubes. I have 1 of each on my bikes.

    And if you think that a road wheel and a 29er wheel are the same outside of the diameter then I suggest that you install your road wheels on your 29er; head out for a ride on the singletrack and get back to me with the results.

  55. #55
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    TR, you may not be able to feel it but I'll bet the tapered steerer and the 15mm axle do allow for less flex and a bit more steering precision. I sure can feel the difference when I go from a 2011 32mm fork to even an older first generation 36mm fork. You feel the fork flexing around in rough corners and it's harder to keep as tight of a line.

    As to the other post saying that 29" wheels just make people lazy, that's a bit hard for me to comment on since I started riding when rigid 26" was the only choice so I leaned without much added mechanical advantage. But I have ridden behind young guys on FS bikes that have no idea how to lift up the rear wheel when they ride over stuff and just let the suspension do it all for them, which only works until the bump gets too big for suspension alone to negotiate it smoothy. They also don't know how to pick a good line unless it's clearly worn in by others. So maybe everyone should ride a rigid 26er for a year before they are allowed to buy anything more "modern".

    One thing I can say for myself is that if I take my FS gravel bike with 700c x 35mm tires on the rocky trials I usually ride, I can get through them at a reasonable speed and with no flats with the wheels still true at the end, but it's going to be a lot slower and a really tense and erratic ride (I did it last week) since I have to watch for every rock or root and steer to the smoothest line, and I'm not even getting as good a work out while doing it because I can't pedal as hard. For me personally, hammering through a really rough section at (my) full speed pedaling as hard as I can or clawing up a steep technical climb is where the fun is and I can't do that as well on skinny tires or short travel or no suspension. For some people the fun is in the challenge of trying to overcome the terrain with as little mechanical advantage as possible.

    I'll take the technology and just push harder and be going faster while lowering the stress on my body at the same time while getting a better workout. Larger diameter seems to go with that because smaller diameter tires slow down more when they hit hard edges, given the same suspension, and hamper the flow.

    As I've said before, there are some climbs I could never get up on any bike for many years until I built my long travel FS fat bike. It was pretty rewarding to finally clean those climbs the first time. I know there are some who could do the same thing on a rigid 26er with 2' tires but I would never be able to do that no matter how often I tried ( and I tried quite a few times). Just like I'm never going to ride a 4" wide moss covered skinny 10 feet off the ground. We have to go with our strengths and not worry too much what others are doing, unless it can add to our strengths by adopting their ideas.

    I love how something as seemingly simple as a bicycle is continually evolving in legitimate ways and it ain't over yet.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    TR, you may not be able to feel it but I'll bet the tapered steerer and the 15mm axle do allow for less flex and a bit more steering precision. I sure can feel the difference when I go from a 2011 32mm fork to even an older first generation 36mm fork. You feel the fork flexing around in rough corners and it's harder to keep as tight of a line.
    Perhaps, and that is why I said "for what I do".
    Then again I have often questioned whether the sensation you describe can be put down to other factors outside of the fork and axle type. Wheel build, tyre pressures, tyre choice, headset, stem, bars and many other factors could give a sensation like you describe.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drth Vadr View Post
    It is increasingly evident that a 29er is a way not to develop those skills.
    lol... really?

    and the evidence is easily found in .... MBA?

    wheel size has nothing to do with skill development... everyone should ride any wheel size they please... skills can be developed on any kind of bike/wheel size...

    Yes it is marketing, but it is also the search for the wheel size that can be applied to ALL disciplines affectively.
    and that search will be as successful as the search for a single frame that can be applied to ALL disciplines Effectively... (yet it was all doable in the past)

    why do we need a single wheel size that can be applied to ALL disciplines effectively? let manufacturers make their money by diversifying the production line and making us switch between different platforms/wheel sizes/2x10/3x10/platforms/clipless etc...

    Which 29ers do not and can not. How hard is that for the 29er riders to realize? 29er fanboy are the only ones wining, no one else cares. Ride a 29er and be happy. The wheel size isn't going anywhere, it just will never be the preferred size for the majority.
    sounds like you are whining as well - are you on 29er as well?

    i think the main "theme" of this thread is dirty marketing, which is contradicting itself more than you contradicted in your own post... I still remember another article from last year, or 2 years ago - which declared 26 hardtail - a dead bike.

    Absalon seems to disagree with that, and quite a few others...

    Whining about whiners... no need... whiners usually discredit themselves - they do not need anyone's help...


  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by motocross269 View Post
    Here are the results copy and pasted right from MBA....

    Win: This 27.5-inch-wheeled bike proved to be the most versatile of the three hardtails. It did an excellent job of blending the best traits of the 29er and 26er with- out ever feeling like a compromise between the two. This bike scampered away from the 29er on steep uphills or after a speed-zapping mistake. It then gapped the 26er on the other side of the mountain on the way down—all the while delivering a very resilient ride that didn’t beat up the rider.

    Place: This 29er couldn’t match the 27.5 in a drag race from a standstill or up a steep ascent. If your riding is wide-open trails with few surprises, the large wheels will hold an advantage over the 27.5. Our 29er held a slight advantage on the descents over the 27.5 (and blew the 26er into the weeds), but the advantage was less than what the 27.5 could throw down going up.

    Show: This 26er felt the lightest of the group (it was), and, in experienced hands, it would beat the other two in acceleration and slicing up or down a trail. It propelled its rider with pumpatude power and liked to manual, wheelie and hop around obstacles. The operative word here is “experienced.” An accomplished rider can pump and manual all day long. The rider who can’t do those things won’t have as much fun on this 26er as he would on either of the other bikes.

    Either way...I would say whatever works for the individual rider is the best wheel choice.....It's pretty much as simple as that..

    To bad they werent hard tails..... July 2012 it's not here yet, but magazine is...
    Last edited by dogo; 05-27-2012 at 08:26 PM.

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    Wouldn't surprise me to learn that none of these bikes were ridden for this "review".

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    Bike magazine which i consider leaps and bounds a better mag than MBA did a nice wheel size write up a few months ago. Also MBA did a hardtail wheel size shootout a few months ago and i took away from the article that it was basically a toss up between the Jamis 29er and the Jamis killer b as they call it. I love my hardtail ss 29er, but when the time comes to replace my 5.5 inch 26 inch bike, if the 650 b has proven superior and my favorite FS company (Turner) makes one, im all over it

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigsj View Post
    Nor do I know yours or anyone else's. You can choose to listen or not and we all do, but you can consider everyone's comments on their merit alone. I rarely post my actual riding experiences because I prefer not to offer subjective comments most of the time. For objective issues my personal ride doesn't matter.
    Not to sound all stalkerish but I for one would be interested in hearing your opinion.

    Why? Because I'm going to riding/reviewing the 650b version of another bike I'm riding right now and it's always interesting to gather other people's subjective impressions.

    Soaking all of this debate up with interest for now.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  62. #62
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    Anyone else noticed that there is very obvious discrimination going on here? 26, 29 and 650b.. But what about 36, 24 and 20??
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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    All three bicycles use 26er technology. Guess which one is the stiffest and feels the best?

    Why 29ers still 12 years from their inception use 26er technology?
    How could any 29er climb a real grade with 24x36 (harder than 22x34), while 26er has 22x34? It is obvious it can't climb. If feels like 22x28 on a 26er.

    Why do 29ers have the same spoke count, hub flange spacing and the only place where the neccessary weight is placed (in order for the wheel to hold up) are the rims? The rims with deeper V and bulkier? They produce too much ineartia, too much stress on the spokes. Why not the same rim design but more spokes? Stress is more proportionately spread, more spokes to catter for originally bigger gap between spokes when the rims grows.
    Why suspension forks have the same stanchion dimaters on 29ers and 26ers?

    If we wanted to be fair why not test 26ers with 28mm stanchions, 5mm qr on the rear, 20 spoked wheels, 120mm rear hubs standard, 80mm front. A bit thinner frame's tubes. This roughly would correspond to the 29er sensation to average 26er rider.

    No surprise that a wheel, which is merely 25mm bigger will work better with 26er standarf than a wheel measuring 63mm more.

    ps. Now just imagine how a 36er would suck with parts designed and tested around a 26 inch wheel. Imagine how a bus would suck with parts for french/italian small town cars.
    Last edited by Davidcopperfield; 05-28-2012 at 04:24 AM.

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    Balls.

  65. #65
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    that is a fair write up, however

    it all really doesn't matter... i could not care less about spoke count, stanchion diameter, rim size etc...

    i will throw my leg over one bike, ride it like i stole it for a while..

    then i will throw my leg over another bike, and give it due abuse...

    after comparative riding is done - i just pick the bike that fits my riding needs and that fits my perception of what i want to get out of it...

    at that point - i could not care less if it is a 29er or 26er, platform or clipless, tubeless or tubed, carbon or aluminum, HT or FS, 4" or 8" of travel etc etc...

    options are good, but IMHO they are just another way for manufacturers to make more money on us the suckers...

    arguing which wheelsize is better or which pedals are better - is pointless...

    better is what i like more... to me

    to you - better is what you like more...

    no need to quantify and involve rocket science...

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield View Post
    All three bicycles use 26er technology. Guess which one is the stiffest and feels the best?

    Why 29ers still 12 years from their inception use 26er technology?
    How could any 29er climb a real grade with 24x36 (harder than 22x34), while 26er has 22x34? It is obvious it can't climb. If feels like 22x28 on a 26er.

    Why do 29ers have the same spoke count, hub flange spacing and the only place where the neccessary weight is placed (in order for the wheel to hold up) are the rims? The rims with deeper V and bulkier? They produce too much ineartia, too much stress on the spokes. Why not the same rim design but more spokes? Stress is more proportionately spread, more spokes to catter for originally bigger gap between spokes when the rims grows.
    Why suspension forks have the same stanchion dimaters on 29ers and 26ers?

    If we wanted to be fair why not test 26ers with 28mm stanchions, 5mm qr on the rear, 20 spoked wheels, 120mm rear hubs standard, 80mm front. A bit thinner frame's tubes. This roughly would correspond to the 29er sensation to average 26er rider.

    No surprise that a wheel, which is merely 25mm bigger will work better with 26er standarf than a wheel measuring 63mm more.

    ps. Now just imagine how a 36er would suck with parts designed and tested around a 26 inch wheel. Imagine how a bus would suck with parts for french/italian small town cars.

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    I read both articles, Jamis steel hardtails, KHS full suspension, who knows? Havn't ridden the 650, would like to, no interest in 26.
    How about a 1x11 with grip shift, electronic shifting or whatever? Can't stop progress, don't have to buy it. "Old School" will always be there, and changes too. Fixie rigids work in central TX, skilled riders only need apply, not me.
    Love my 429 9 spd.
    I'd rather spend the $ on carbon wheels than another bike, almost the same money, don't have it. Will be content with what I've got.
    Same MBA issue, Nino Schuter wins world's on 650B, they did give credit to his legs, heart and lungs, however, rest of top 10 were 29ers. The Scott 650's a prototype hardtail.
    MBA is schizo on 29ers but willing to sell advertising for them or anything else the industry conceives, why not? More options, more sales, more fickle buyers. If it ain't the latest and greatest it ain't.
    My first 29er was an '02 Fisher Mt Tam in'08, never regretted that change, got me where I am today.

  67. #67
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    You are right ofcourse. In the end of the day it is always the smile on your face, what makes you delighted, however...
    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    it all really doesn't matter... i could not care less about spoke count, stanchion diameter, rim size etc...
    ...if the bicycle, you do ride/test, is underdeveloped you may get a false sensation or opinion that f.ex. 36er does not work for you and also does not make you happy and never will, in which case you may fall in a trap you set up yourself.
    I doubt you would have fun on contemporary 36ers with their atrocious tyres weighing a lot more than they should. I doubt you would have had fun on first generation 29ers in 2002. I doubt you would have assessed them as good idea neither would you with first disc brakes.

    Reading numerous negative opinions about 622mm- 700C in mtb I sussed out that they center around either poor wheels- flexy light XC, or too heavy AM wheels with too tyres without top 26er technology. Frames being for some alienlike reason longer in the TT than 26ers- it can even be 20mm, which corresponds to the next size up in 26ers. Take Wfo9 with 603mm TT in Medium, where the ought to be 585 for this kind of AM bicycle. Here more offset on forks is necessary.
    Higher standover- why? Why not hydro-form the tube to be more slanting to match 26er standover. There is this odd assumption that frame size must grow with the wheelsize, in fact, we want the geometry to be the same.
    Take a 5'3" tester liking some AM rides with 140mm with some drops and berms etc. What he/she gets? No proper bars being curved to form something like dropperbars- upsidedown nor does she/he get enough of minus 30 deg stems. Top these off to the previously mentioned unnecessarily tall standover, longer TT, wheels with all their extra weight being in the worst possible place - the rims. ( Tip- get ligher 36h rims,which may be lighter than 32h counter parts ).
    I purposedly given the example of a short rider because it is them, who feel the "odds" when riding 29ers the most and they feel different TT, standover etc. 5'3" person on 140mm 29er will like 565mm TT with more than 51mm offset fork, negative riser bars, 660-680mm standover etc. The frame must be short, fliackable and light.

    Now someone like you, who can't care less about tech, gets a chance to test ride such an underdeveloped 29er. He/she get the most of it? Can he/she really enjoy the benefits not being blighted by poor design? Will he/she choose a 29er over a 26er or 27,5er? I am not surprised that worse 29ers get worse marks than good 26ers or 27,5ers.

    Summarizing being 5'8" I believe that 29ers can be much better than they are and full of nearly untapped potential in trail ridinng and definitely in AM up to 160mm stroke.

  68. #68
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    Anyone post this yet:

    Mountain Bike Wheel Wars 29 versus 26 versus 27.5 - YouTube


    And please people don't shoot the messenger
    Last edited by Ace5high; 05-28-2012 at 10:29 AM.
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    As for the Nino. I must say that he is trying really hard to contradict physics. He said that being over the bike= higher centre of gravity is better. What he has said in the interview is pure shill, not earth based physics just babling to naive XC riders and making the hype good advertisement.

    The main caveat he had about 29ers was his fit- meaning the handlebar or frame size as well. That's it. If 29ers had been designed properly from the onset, Kirk Pacenti would have never griped about big wheels. He falsely ascribed all the negatives to the wheels themselves not the poor design- frame, wheels etc. I guess if he have ridden 26ers or 29ers he wouldn't have been held in high esteem and wouldn't have been in the spotlights, which means no hero, no money. And now that all the world knows Nino, Kirk rubs his hands. Let's be honest. What would have Kirk sold to masses in bulk if it hadn't been for Nino?
    Prove me wrong, but I sniff a very sly and sneaky business made on shortage of 29er design corrections. Why correcting all those details, let's get back to small wheels again and have it done this way. All those crashes, tyre spinnings, high centre of gravity are cool again and now the we must get to known the fact that we ( under 6') suffer on 29ers, because Nino says so.
    I respect the guy's fitness, stamina etc. He definitely is a cyborg, however he is poor at addressing physics sensations, he sucks at addressing rolling resitance, centre of gravity and contact patch. Regular kid wih legs contradicting himself a few times. Deifnitely no guru or oracle to follow. I can't understand the artificial fuss about him blown up by manufacturers wanting next big thing= big money. He rides, what manufacturers want to sell the most. Period.


    Rant mode off.

  70. #70
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    who cares

    How long have 650 rims been in the road bike industry? How many of these do you see on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly bases, cruising down the road?

    Will 650 mtn bikes come complete with aero bars? Slap some bar ends on that bad boy and you'll have a versitile bike.

    Riser bars, flats, drops or alt bars? Jeez, the options are limitless.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    It's okay to sell lots and lots of bikes.
    Hilarious. Like you're the bike industry's therapist. Or that they would feel guilty about their goals.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drth Vadr View Post
    The definition of zealot - an immoderate, fanatical, or extremely zealous adherent to a cause, esp a religious one and a 29er fanboy. " Simply doesn't make any sense." Many MTB riders don't want to smooth out the trail,or lose any aspect of the terrain. That's why we ride "Mountain bikes". I've seen guys with skill climb some impossible shite on a 26er. It is increasingly evident that a 29er is a way not to develop those skills.

    This is a direct cause of the soring popularity of enduro type riding where three primary disciplines are rolled together and that extra 1.5 means something. Mountain biking is becoming more about the epic adventure vs the how fast you ride the trail loop.

    Yes it is marketing, but it is also the search for the wheel size that can be applied to ALL disciplines affectively. Which 29ers do not and can not. How hard is that for the 29er riders to realize? 29er fanboy are the only ones wining, no one else cares. Ride a 29er and be happy. The wheel size isn't going anywhere, it just will never be the preferred size for the majority.
    Man, to get so hot under the hermetically sealed mask about nothing......

    FWIW, I'd love to try a 4 or 5 inch travel bike with 650b wheels. I LUV my 29er hard tail, though. No trouble feeling frisky or scampering, as they say in the magazine.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogo View Post
    Totally sh1ting on the 29er now! Now its the up and coming 27.5 thats the king of the mountain, with 26 in second and our beloved 29ers falling short in every category (climbing, corning, and descending)! Funny how the marketing "new" products thing works!
    There you have it.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

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    Just buy all 3 popular wheel sizes and be done with it...LOL...Wheel size is just a tool for a certain application....

    I have to totally disagree with the comments about Competitve cyclers shunning technology to be better riders technically....If that was the case Motocross riders should train on 20 year old race bikes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by motocross269 View Post
    Just buy all 3 popular wheel sizes and be done with it...LOL...Wheel size is just a tool for a certain application....

    I have to totally disagree with the comments about Competitve cyclers shunning technology to be better riders technically....If that was the case Motocross riders should train on 20 year old race bikes...
    Agreed.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield View Post
    As for the Nino. I must say that he is trying really hard to contradict physics. He said that being over the bike= higher centre of gravity is better. What he has said in the interview is pure shill, not earth based physics just babling to naive XC riders and making the hype good advertisement.
    Nino trains on average 25 hours per week. 3 times every day. He trains in the gym and running as well. Not just on the bike, like the old school...

    Give any bike to Nino, and he will rip it.

    Absalon "designed" the course so that it fits his 26" bike better - BS... Kulhavy was on his tail, after the slow start... I was watching those tight switchbacks - Kulhavy was flipping his his bike as well as Absalon around them...

    It's always been the motor.

    Now with regards to the design of 29ers - there is a lot of work to be done, but every season - there is a good progress...

    Specialized, Niner, Santa Cruz, Trek/Gary Fisher and few more manufacturers - they are slowly getting there...

    The wheelbase on XC bikes is getting shorter, standover height as well. Specialized uses special CAD programs in designing their bikes - Epic and HT Stumpy are excellent examples of advanced technology... The Epic comes very close to hardtail, when it comes to efficiency and maneuverability. Will they stop improving them so that we, the suckers, now jump on the B bandwagon? I wouldn't go that far, but would not argue against it neither... For them, it is all about the profit margin. At least for most of them. Everything else is secondary.

    Once the race/ride starts - this is all irrelevant... the technology becomes only the mean of putting that stupid grin on your face... What ever works - is the best.

    For me - between getting the bling or improving the motor and skills - the latter one will always be more important than the first one.

  77. #77
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    I didn't read all the responses in this thread, but didn't MBA do this exact same thing a few issues back? And if i'm not mistaken the 29er won, hands down. I remember the article had them riding a 26, 27.5 and 29 inch through the same terrain. Maybe it was Bike Magazine??

    If it really was MBA, wtf? And wtf anyways...enough of the "what's better". I ride a 26 and 29 inch and I love them both. Ride what you like.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by motocross269 View Post
    Just buy all 3 popular wheel sizes and be done with it...LOL...Wheel size is just a tool for a certain application....
    +1

    Thoughts on specific advantages in wheel size when taking into consideration suspension setup vs HT and riding styles?
    I do all my own stunts, but never intentionally...

  79. #79
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    @osokolo my comment about Nino and this (in)famous article was about his lack of understanding physics like when he remarked that being over-on the bike is better than "in". After all being "in the bike" sensations stems from wheel axles being higher relative to the bottom bracket. I also blame his ignorance when it comes to designing a perfect 29er. Someone of this magnitude should be knowledgeable enough to figure out that minus 25 stemp with flatbars seals the bill just like Emily Batty is happy with such setup. I guess he could have equally release new type of top-notch handlebars for shorter racers althogether with new 29er geometry mimicing the 26er one- TT, standover,handlebar height. It would have been easier than introduing the whole new wheelsize into modern mtb.

    The wheelbase on XC bikes is getting shorter, standover height as well. Specialized uses special CAD programs in designing their bikes - Epic and HT Stumpy are excellent examples of advanced technology... The Epic comes very close to hardtail, when it comes to efficiency and maneuverability. Will they stop improving them so that we, the suckers, now jump on the B bandwagon? I wouldn't go that far, but would not argue against it neither... For them, it is all about the profit margin. At least for most of them. Everything else is secondary.
    The problem with making a true standalone 29er standards being able completely stack up against 26er standrds means also new hubs- 135 front and 160-180 rear with special bends and curves avoiding heel- seatstay overlap. It must work with 75mm BB or 83mm. Then those hubs need a little bit redesigned spokes and new spoke count light 400-450 gram rims 36 up to 40 on the rear. It is like having ZTR flow rim in 36h about 20 grams lighter than 32h version. The idea would be to scrub as much weight as possible from the rims and move this weight into spokes. 1.3-1.8 spokes for light XC and trail riders and conventional for heavier ones. Unsymetrical hubs, forks and frames to resist 203 and 220mm rotors on real AM bicycles. ~12% wheel needs bigger rotors to keep everything in relevance to 26er standards.

    And finally the huge Shimano and Sram gearing being redesigned with all hightech for 29er option. So these big wigs will have to manufacture both standards. 26er gearing and 29er gearing- huge uprise in retail prices.
    It works scientifically speaking the problem is these kind of rims and spokes and hub standards do not exist, so all R&D for them and new frames means lots of dough and no one wants to make such a big jump alone. Remeber when 51mm offset appeared on GF bicycles? Only when GF payed for it himself.
    With these new stuff we would expect several manufacturers cooperate for new standards. It would take a few years to settle down.

    Once the race/ride starts - this is all irrelevant... the technology becomes only the mean of putting that stupid grin on your face... What ever works - is the best.
    Nonetheless to have big grin on one's face one needs a good bike if, of course the grin you are referring to is based on impeccable FS functions, wheel stiffness. Huge grin on AM 29er wheels wih 630grams and 28 or 32 spokes and still flexing 3-7 milimeters? Either flexy or overly heavy?
    Now imagine a 36er with 4mm 28 or 32 spokes and 1300 gram rims to keep the wheel true on standard 135mm rear hub with 160 rotor? I bet such wheel flex would be measured in centimeters. Definitely far from putting grins on my face. I wouldn't even dream of puting such 36er to the comparison with 26ers. With 29ers the difference is much smaller but tangible and needs to be addressed much more than just several milimeters on the fork offset.

    Perfect rant& diatribe

  80. #80
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    agree on your comment on Nino...

    one would expect more knowledge from the top quality rider...

    With regards to 29er technology - yes, I agree - it has to be the top quality product to put that grin on my face.

    But it does not have to apply to everyone.

    Wheels: Mavic tried to put your philosophy to work - put the weight into spokes and reduce rotational weight... Result is a pretty flexy wheel set, that accelerates half decently.

    Didn't work for me. Then tried Easton Havens - the stiffest wheel I have ever owned - even compared to 26" wheels, too heavy however.

    Settled with American Classic 29er Tubeless... at 1600g they are plenty stiff even for my 195 pounds racing weight. Never had to true them, though I ride them without any reservation on any kind of terrain... I find them totally acceptable and comparable to any 26" wheel set...

    Epic came with Roval SL carbon wheel set - even lighter than AC and equally as stiff. Epic accelerates quite fine and once at speed - it keeps the momentum nicely. Rolling hills single track is perfect for ripping. See, everyone is complaining about slower acceleration, but no one mentions that once at speed - big wheels keep the momentum much better than 26". I pass many a 26" racer at the crest of rolling hills just utilizing the momentum...

    Wheelbase on the Epic is very close to it's HT brother... Manoeuvrability on the Epic is pretty sharp, very close to HT.

    Why would anyone need 220mm rotors on AM bike? or even 180mm rotor on XC bike?

    My 140mm rear rotor can still lock up my rear wheel at any given time. 160mm front rotor can throw me over the handlebar if I squeeze the left lever too hard. What's the point of having bigger rotors, unless spending A LOT of time going down hill at higher speeds? Even then 180mm in the front would be enough IMHO. Compensating for mediocre brakes?

    So far - I feel that the technology is quite adequate, considering improvements so far. I have no doubts that within the next couple of years - 29ers will reach their pinnacle in design.

    This should include frames for shorter people.

    Options are good, just tough to control spending habits...

    I may want to try that B wheel rocket and become as fast as Nino, overnight. And I can wrench my own bike.

    Enjoyable rant back and forth DC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield View Post
    @osokolo my comment about Nino and this (in)famous article was about his lack of understanding physics like when he remarked that being over-on the bike is better than "in". After all being "in the bike" sensations stems from wheel axles being higher relative to the bottom bracket. I also blame his ignorance when it comes to designing a perfect 29er. Someone of this magnitude should be knowledgeable enough to figure out that minus 25 stemp with flatbars seals the bill just like Emily Batty is happy with such setup. I guess he could have equally release new type of top-notch handlebars for shorter racers althogether with new 29er geometry mimicing the 26er one- TT, standover,handlebar height. It would have been easier than introduing the whole new wheelsize into modern mtb.

    The problem with making a true standalone 29er standards being able completely stack up against 26er standrds means also new hubs- 135 front and 160-180 rear with special bends and curves avoiding heel- seatstay overlap. It must work with 75mm BB or 83mm. Then those hubs need a little bit redesigned spokes and new spoke count light 400-450 gram rims 36 up to 40 on the rear. It is like having ZTR flow rim in 36h about 20 grams lighter than 32h version. The idea would be to scrub as much weight as possible from the rims and move this weight into spokes. 1.3-1.8 spokes for light XC and trail riders and conventional for heavier ones. Unsymetrical hubs, forks and frames to resist 203 and 220mm rotors on real AM bicycles. ~12% wheel needs bigger rotors to keep everything in relevance to 26er standards.

    And finally the huge Shimano and Sram gearing being redesigned with all hightech for 29er option. So these big wigs will have to manufacture both standards. 26er gearing and 29er gearing- huge uprise in retail prices.
    It works scientifically speaking the problem is these kind of rims and spokes and hub standards do not exist, so all R&D for them and new frames means lots of dough and no one wants to make such a big jump alone. Remeber when 51mm offset appeared on GF bicycles? Only when GF payed for it himself.
    With these new stuff we would expect several manufacturers cooperate for new standards. It would take a few years to settle down.

    Nonetheless to have big grin on one's face one needs a good bike if, of course the grin you are referring to is based on impeccable FS functions, wheel stiffness. Huge grin on AM 29er wheels wih 630grams and 28 or 32 spokes and still flexing 3-7 milimeters? Either flexy or overly heavy?
    Now imagine a 36er with 4mm 28 or 32 spokes and 1300 gram rims to keep the wheel true on standard 135mm rear hub with 160 rotor? I bet such wheel flex would be measured in centimeters. Definitely far from putting grins on my face. I wouldn't even dream of puting such 36er to the comparison with 26ers. With 29ers the difference is much smaller but tangible and needs to be addressed much more than just several milimeters on the fork offset.

    Perfect rant& diatribe

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldsbar View Post
    The only reason I see for the smaller wheels would be for f/s. The more suspension the smaller the wheels unless you want to end up on a really "big" bike.
    Bingo. 200mm+ DH with 26, AM at ~150-160mm 650b and trail bikes with 100-140mm with 29" sounds like a good plan to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by PoisonDartFrog View Post
    I am not certain that is true with 650b - its only a ~5% difference over 26.
    By the same logic, 29r is only ~6% difference over 650b, but you do get more travel, lighter, stiffer and better fitting bike.

    Late to market or not, Fox, RS, Magura are adding forks this year. Sounds like traction to me.
    Last edited by Axe; 05-29-2012 at 06:23 PM.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    one would expect more knowledge from the top quality rider...
    I surmise that he neither has been offered a 29er tailored for him and his needs nor has the Scott ordered/cobbed/invented a dropper bars in carbon.
    Scott just made bigger 29er frames than 26er ones and there are few high tech minus 25deg stems. They should have made their own and advertise them as solution for shorter riders on 29ers.
    Anyway note that once they introduced this 584mm rim size into mtb, they made a huge advertisement banner for their company. It wouldn't have been so distinct if it would have been another 26er or 29er. People's attention would not have been drawn to such extent, so less Scott bikes sold.

    Wheels: Mavic tried to put your philosophy to work - put the weight into spokes and reduce rotational weight... Result is a pretty flexy wheel set, that accelerates half decently.
    I doubt as 36h ZTR Arches weighing 450-5 grams do not exist.
    ARCH 29ER 36 HOLED- a petition for Stan's No Tubes
    Ok, fez up, who's been lusting for 28-hole rims?
    The idea behind it is to add less weight when magnifying the rim from 559mm up to 622mm. Designers must beef it up to resemble 26er stiffness in 29er format or the whole wheel built on comparable components. If the spoke count is the same on both sizes, then the design is faulty and one gets "penalty" for choosing a 29er in excess of material in the rim.
    How much would Ztr Arch 32h have to weigh in 787mm-36er rim variant in order to match 559mm stiffness?
    I guess the rim would have too much weight in the rim with far too few spokes and those would have to be like 4mm, thus also heavier. 36er Arch 48h would open the doors to shave the weight as extra beefness is needed to catter for huge spaces between spokes in 32h mode. 48 1,5-1,8mm or 1,8-2,0mm spokes crossed five or six times would do a better job than 32 4mm spokes crossed three times plus more holes in a rim means it is lighter by itself.

    Didn't work for me. Then tried Easton Havens - the stiffest wheel I have ever owned - even compared to 26" wheels, too heavy however.
    The rims could be a little bit lighter 15-20 grams with four more spokes. Does not apply everywhere but in most cases this trend may be tested. The limit would be how thin a spoke can be or how light the rim can be before those parts fail.

    Why would anyone need 220mm rotors on AM bike? or even 180mm rotor on XC bike?
    A 100 kg guy naked and 110 kg wet riding a 26er XL 160mm with fox 36 already with 203mm on both ends wouldn't like to sucrifice any of that stiffness on the way down, would he?
    If he keeps the proportion with the same brakes then 220mm is the way to go, but hubs, frames and forks must be unsymetrical to counteract or level out huge force on one side. Escpecially on the rear when the hub conveys two counter forces- one propelling and the other braking. Frames mus do the same thing together with forks.

    My 140mm rear rotor can still lock up my rear wheel at any given time. 160mm front rotor can throw me over the handlebar if I squeeze the left lever too hard. What's the point of having bigger rotors, unless spending A LOT of time going down hill at higher speeds?
    My buddy on a Wfo9 changed the rotors from 180/160 onto 203mm and can't be happier. Completely different braking, better sensation, less force needed on the levers. He came from SC Bullit. When someone rides AM, which means almost all the rides are done in the real moutains (rideable mountains) on pedestrian trails and the idea is to at least ride all them down. Yes a helluva of AM riders spend a lot of time going downill, where great power and heat dissipation is a must. Also on steed slope you need instant and precise brake on the rear and squeezing the lever hard for 140mm rotors on the rear to stop is out of question. It has nothing to do with XC.

    I may want to try that B wheel rocket and become as fast as Nino, overnight. And I can wrench my own bike.
    Now everyone will make Scott company rich as one wants to be as fast as Nino. They would buy a beach cruiser if he rode one. Nino would not be famous if he rode a 29er or a 26er. These two are too commonplace. He would have been famous on a 29er in 2005.

  83. #83
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    I agree that bigger rotors are the way to go. You can stop or even skid with smaller rotors but it makes it harder for 1 finger braking. Bigger is better and easier. I switched a xc bike from 160 front 140 rear to 180 front 160 rear and it worked a lot better. For all mountain I use 203 front and 180 rear. The new 29er DH will have 203 F&R. If someone made a light weight aluminum spider 228 I'd run one of those on the front. At least I'd like to try it out.

    Having more brake than you need is way better than not having enough.

    You have to be really counting grams to make the weight savings worth it if you are only going up 1 size. So I don't really get the advantage of small rotors. 140 to 203 is of course a big leap but that's not really applicable.

    I did have a 203 on the front of an xc bike because it came with the on sale BB7 caliper and that was actually too much in that it made modulation too grabby. So I went down to a 180, which is where I should have been to begin with for the tire/wheel size and weight and now it's all good. So in some cases I guess bigger is too big.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

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    Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.

    26" bike = black Model T

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    By the same logic, 29r is only ~6% difference over 650b, but you do get more travel, lighter, stiffer and better fitting bike.
    Just think how much travel you could get (and wheel stiffness!!) if you just built around 20" BMX wheels!
    Mind your own religion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    By the same logic, 29r is only ~6% difference over 650b, but you do get more travel, lighter, stiffer and better fitting bike.
    I don't see how 650b provides inherently more travel or a better fit. It's just a wheel size. The rest is product availability and 650b's product availability blows.

    As for the percentages, there's some handwaving here.

    Assuming 650b is nominally 700mm (that's 27.5 like all the advocates insist it is), then for the same size tire a 26er would be (559+114)=675mm and a 29er would be (622+116)=738mm. That means:

    650b is 3.7% larger than 26", not 5%.
    29er is 5.4% larger than 650b, less than 6%.

    What's really of interest is that (29 / 650b) is 46% larger than (650b / 26) and (29 / 26) is 152% larger. It is irrational to assume that one being important (or not) implies the other is the same.

    As PoisonDartFrog said, if that comment were to make sense, we should all move to 24" or 20" wheels. Imagine how much lighter, stiffer, better fitting and longer travel we could have!

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoisonDartFrog View Post
    Just think how much travel you could get (and wheel stiffness!!) if you just built around 20" BMX wheels!
    While I understand the joke - bike's geometry is naturally restrained by human body size and strength. There is only so much travel that you can actually use. People did some weird 250mm+ bikes for jumping off cliffs, and indeed they used 24" wheels.

    I think 160 - 170 mm is the sweet spot for a "AM" (whatever that is) bike. So I would go for the largest wheel (logic there is absolutely solid) that fits well with widest tires that are not too heavy. On a hardtail - I see no reason why not to use 29".

    I think they should have went for 650a as the medium size - but I guess the guerrilla conversions had been easier with 650b - just a few mm smaller to fit some existing forks with narrow tires.

    Quote Originally Posted by craigsj View Post
    I don't see how 650b provides inherently more travel or a better fit.
    I do. So do a whole lot of people who actually make bikes. I would have enjoyed discussing that further with you, but you tend to slide into name calling and hissy fits, so I would not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    While I understand the joke - bike's geometry is naturally restrained by human body size and strength. There is only so much travel that you can actually use. People did some weird 250mm+ bikes for jumping off cliffs, and indeed they used 24" wheels.

    I think 160 - 170 mm is the sweet spot for a "AM" (whatever that is) bike. So I would go for the largest wheel (logic there is absolutely solid) that fits well with widest tires that are not too heavy. On a hardtail - I see no reason why not to use 29".

    I think they should have went for 650a as the medium size - but I guess the guerrilla conversions had been easier with 650b - just a few mm smaller to fit some existing forks with narrow tires.
    I agree with 650a and perhaps the reason it wasn't selected. I suspect the reality was that 650b actually still existed in some capacity. Frankly, that's the same reason we got 26er and 29ers, they already existed.

    Bikes all tend to be made a certain way with the exception of some DH designs. Design compromises that people accept as the rule are involved in practical limitations on wheel travel and size. It is possible to build a big wheeled, short chainstay long travel bike, it's just that no one has the nerve or creativity to try. I've posted a design for a 150mm 29er bike here that has a 400mm CS length. It's possible to build it.

    The fit issue is only on the smallest end, and 29ers can fit a pretty small adult.

    Ultimately, what limits any wheel size is the availability of parts. 29er's don't have many solutions on the burlier end but neither does 650b. What evolves in the future doesn't become a testament to the wheel size itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I do. So do a whole lot of people who make bikes. I would have enjoyed discussing that further with you, but you tend to slide into name calling and hissy fits, so I would not.
    Looks like you are bringing it up first again. If that's how you want it to go, it goes that way pretty easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield View Post
    All three bicycles use 26er technology. Guess which one is the stiffest and feels the best?

    Why 29ers still 12 years from their inception use 26er technology?
    How could any 29er climb a real grade with 24x36 (harder than 22x34), while 26er has 22x34? It is obvious it can't climb. If feels like 22x28 on a 26er.

    Why do 29ers have the same spoke count, hub flange spacing and the only place where the neccessary weight is placed (in order for the wheel to hold up) are the rims? The rims with deeper V and bulkier? They produce too much ineartia, too much stress on the spokes. Why not the same rim design but more spokes? Stress is more proportionately spread, more spokes to catter for originally bigger gap between spokes when the rims grows.
    Why suspension forks have the same stanchion dimaters on 29ers and 26ers?

    If we wanted to be fair why not test 26ers with 28mm stanchions, 5mm qr on the rear, 20 spoked wheels, 120mm rear hubs standard, 80mm front. A bit thinner frame's tubes. This roughly would correspond to the 29er sensation to average 26er rider.

    No surprise that a wheel, which is merely 25mm bigger will work better with 26er standarf than a wheel measuring 63mm more.

    ps. Now just imagine how a 36er would suck with parts designed and tested around a 26 inch wheel. Imagine how a bus would suck with parts for french/italian small town cars.
    This argument is somewhat based on the assumption that 26er standards are perfectly evolved and optimal. Or at least it assumes that the current standards are more suited to 26 than 29. I would assert that this isn't true for many of those standards.

    For instance, spoke count. 32 spokes is most common on 26ers. However, with rims of a particular weight being far stronger than they were in the past, perhaps 32 spokes is no longer optimal. This is why we see high end wheels dropping a few spokes. Even my downhill wheelset has less than 32 spokes. The only weakness it has shown so far is that of dented sidewalls. Ironically, this might mean that 32 spokes is better suited to 29er wheels than they are to 26ers.

    And if we are to look at flange or hub width, wheel diameter should take a back seat in re-evaluating standards. More important than diameter are disk brakes and the effect on wheel dish.

    In other words, i'm not buying the assertion that 29ers are suffering much from borrowing component standards from 26ers. Our existing standards are used for such a wide variety of biking, that it would be hard to argue that they are optimal for everything except 29ers. For example, all my downhill and dirt jump bikes still use "standard" front hub spacing and still use 1-1/8" steering tubes.

    My take is that we live in an exciting bicycling era. I would love to see every tire size fully explored and used for the type of riding for which each is optimal. All the XC guys in Pittsburgh have switched to 29ers and my first 29er frame is being delivered soon. But you know what, I'll still ride 26ers for non-XC stuff. When I go out to play on logs and skinnies, it'll be on a all-mountain 26er with upright geometry and platform pedals. The new found variety in mountain bikes is awesome! Enjoy.

  90. #90
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    More attachment points are going to allow for a lighter rims and spokes to offer the same strength, so I think in general the move to less spokes which require a heavier rim to compensate is only about aesthetics and marketing.

    The only time I've ever actually blown up a set of wheels was when I was trying to jump across a ravine and didn't make it landing hard on the front side of the other side. Bent both my new XTR rims beyond repair w/o replacement. Other than that I haven't need to replace a rim since back in the 90s due to better metallurgy and rim design and full suspension.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfiler View Post
    This argument is somewhat based on the assumption that 26er standards are perfectly evolved and optimal. Or at least it assumes that the current standards are more suited to 26 than 29. I would assert that this isn't true for many of those standards..
    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield View Post
    All three bicycles use 26er technology. Guess which one is the stiffest and feels the best?

    Why 29ers still 12 years from their inception use 26er technology?
    How could any 29er climb a real grade with 24x36 (harder than 22x34), while 26er has 22x34? It is obvious it can't climb. If feels like 22x28 on a 26er.

    Right... "26er technology" LOL...

    As if scientists and engineers spent 5 decades working toward "26er" technology finally perfected it... and along comes gary fisher to throw a monkey wrench into the deal...
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  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    More attachment points are going to allow for a lighter rims and spokes to offer the same strength, so I think in general the move to less spokes which require a heavier rim to compensate is only about aesthetics and marketing.
    bINGO.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    bINGO.
    Double Bingo - although when you start talking road wheels, don't lower spoke counts and bladed spokes significantly lower wind resistance - and no, please don't getting into the physics of wind resistance and wheel size on Mt. bikes. I personally think 36ers look kind of cool and I'd like to try one out - 650b? Meh. Sounds like an "answer" to a set of "problems" that I'm just not experiencing on my current 29er.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat View Post
    Double Bingo - although when you start talking road wheels, don't lower spoke counts and bladed spokes significantly lower wind resistance - and no, please don't getting into the physics of wind resistance and wheel size on Mt. bikes. I personally think 36ers look kind of cool and I'd like to try one out - 650b? Meh. Sounds like an "answer" to a set of "problems" that I'm just not experiencing on my current 29er.
    How do I "like" this post?


  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfiler View Post
    This argument is somewhat based on the assumption that 26er standards are perfectly evolved and optimal. Or at least it assumes that the current standards are more suited to 26 than 29.
    The answer is pretty straight forward- use standars on 26ers on 29ers and what you get is basically what plagued early 29ers ten years ago. The deevolutionary move from 20mm on longer travel forks to 15mm just because on XC end someone wanted to get rid of 9mm Qr is silly. Why kill 20mm on 140mm 29er forks, where they are the most wanted?

    For instance, spoke count. 32 spokes is most common on 26ers. However, with rims of a particular weight being far stronger than they were in the past, perhaps 32 spokes is no longer optimal. This is why we see high end wheels dropping a few spokes. Even my downhill wheelset has less than 32 spokes. The only weakness it has shown so far is that of dented sidewalls. Ironically, this might mean that 32 spokes is better suited to 29er wheels than they are to 26ers.
    Frankly speaking this is very wrong assumption. For instance you have a 128, 64 or X spoked wheel with X gram rim. The wheel is perfect, but way too heavy and the rim material is crappy. What would one do as a designer?
    I would reduce the spoke count and spoke diameter to the point, where the spoke is still resistant enough to trail conditions (loose airborne stones hitting the mentioned spokes or biker crashes). I would not add weight to the rim nor would I apply new materials just to remove some more spokes. It is not an upgrade since once new material allows for fewer spokes, then it means it is stronger, stiffer and less of it can do the job, which more of the previous material is needed for. Thus why not produce just a lighter rim (20 grams lighter 36H than 32h) with more holes for more lighter spokes?

    You perceive the spokes' removal as an upgrade. According to physics you would need still too much material and weight (deep V, wide outer diameter with less inner- f. e.x 35mm outer with 23mm inner) in the rim to support, tension etc.

    The ideal wheel would incorporate the the lightest rim possible with the most lightest spokes possible, in which case the tension is spread equally and less stress is put on a single spoke-nipple-rim junction. It means less weight needed there.

    Go now to your AM 29er wheels and remove half of your spokes, tension the remaining half to the tension needed for the wheel to hold up just as well as your current one. The spokes would snap with nipples and the rim would crack. Now go to your computer and design a 29er rim for 14,16 or 18 spokes. Calculate how much thicker spokes you would have to use perhaps heavy 4mm and calculate the rim weight with a deep V perhaps twice as deep. Yes, a stiff and reliable wheel is possible with few spokes but at the price of heavy spokes and heavy rim. I want something completely opposite with the same weight, but more evenly distributed, the lion's part of which is placed as close to the axles as possible. Even though "my" wheels will not be lighter on the scale the would feel much snappier, faster accelerating, yielding upon ground hit, would have less inertia as less rotating mass means easier start and stop, Also would produce less spoke fatigue on the spokes, nipples and rims. Longer lasting wheelset etc.
    Another thread about 36 spokes on 29ers
    Rear wheel for my RIP9 - 32 or 36 holes?

    In other words, i'm not buying the assertion that 29ers are suffering much from borrowing component standards from 26ers.
    Use town's car standards on a truck or a monster truck.
    Check it yourself. Just use 38mm offset on 29er forks, frame tubes seat stays, chainstays diameter and hub standards and you end up with flexy, heavy pig unbecoming of mtb.

    Our existing standards are used for such a wide variety of biking, that it would be hard to argue that they are optimal for everything except 29ers.
    The fact is that they are not optimal. One standard designed around one size will not equally well with desired goals in mund. Think an XXL bikes being just a magnification of XS frames tested by a 155cm woman. The bike design might be exellent in XS, but can reveal some flaws at larger sizes. Hard to argue with it, isn't it?

    When I go out to play on logs and skinnies, it'll be on a all-mountain 26er with upright geometry and platform pedals. The new found variety in mountain bikes is awesome! Enjoy.
    Ten years ago you say that 26ers or any small wheels are optimal for XC because they are lighter, snappier stiffer. I would call it technologoy awareness. It is funny how we endorse the technology, which is currently around us, but which is not perfect one when we apply mathematics.

    Ofcourse it would be funny to have all the sizes from Sheldon Brown site, but I would always ask why not choose the biggest wheel size one can fit and one, which the frames can be built around for XC and trail riding?
    If your head set cup is so high that it hits your chest or you can't maneouvre it at all it means that a wheel size is definitely too big. I guess that for most riders under 5'8" 36ers would be too big. I calculated that my head set cup would be raised by 165mm, which constitues the difference between 622mm and 36er-787mm rims. Using negative stems and upsidedown handlebars would not eliminate the tall steerer tube hitting my chest at steep climbs or going over the bars.
    Upside-down riserhandlebars. Short persons on 36ers, 29ers and 32ers

    If I rode gently I would avert "meeting" the steerer tube.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigsj View Post
    looks like you are bringing it up first again. If that's how you want it to go, it goes that way pretty easily.

    q.e.d.

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    I wish there were people on MTBR who wanted to argue about the marketing strategy of 650b because all this crap about the engineering of 26 v 27.5 v 29 is boring as heck!

    Plain and simple, 650b is another way to get 26" riders to buy a new bike. 650b just might get a few 29" riders to buy a new bike too.

    Nino, MBA articles and a bunch of techies posting about it on MTBR will get the message out.

    Build it and they will come.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    q.e.d.
    e.g.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adroit Rider View Post
    Plain and simple, 650b is another way to get 26" riders to buy a new bike. 650b just might get a few 29" riders to buy a new bike too.
    Why has it taken so long for 650b to get going and why the sudden push? I've not ridden one, but I see it as a step backwards and more of a solution to a problem that doesn't exist when you can be riding a 29er. I can see new 26" riders going this way, and shorter riders who might not fit 29ers but might as well take the next step and go bigger.

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    Timing is a good question but I think the 29rs proved the market and manufactures are listening to the middle to late adopters of larger wheels. 26" riders understand there are benefits to a larger wheel, but they are timid for a number reasons hashed out over the years. Now, with 27.5, there is a product that fills the gap so the 26" rider has a compromise.

    Why the sudden push? Budgets finally approved based on the passed several years of success in the 29r market?

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